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Oppo R15 Pro review: An overachiever that's just a fraction behind OnePlus

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The Good The Oppo R15 Pro is a strong all-rounder, giving you solid cameras, battery life and power for a reasonable price. It also looks less like an iPhone than previous models, and it comes with a headphone jack.

The Bad Oppo's operating system is still a blatant iOS clone, and portrait photos can look washed out. They charge through the outdated Micro-USB port.

The Bottom Line The Oppo R15 Pro is a terrific midrage phone, but it lacks the OnePlus 6's processing power, more interesting operating system and battery life.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Camera 8
  • Battery 8

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Arguably the coolest phone brand among Android enthusiasts is OnePlus. It's both powerful and stylish, with a scarcity that makes it feel special. OnePlus, you may not know, has a lesser-known (in the US) sibling called Oppo. Oppo's phones are also worthy of your attention.

Both brands, along with Vivo, are owned by Chinese company BBK Electronics, and much of what makes the OnePlus 6 great also applies to Oppo's latest flagship, the R15 Pro.

The R15 Pro has a sharp 6.28-inch display, a strong camera game and impressive design -- if you can get over the notch. It's being released alongside another phone, the "regular" Oppo R15.

Ian Knighton/CNET

The two R15 variants look identical, but have big differences inside. Most notable is the processor: The R15 comes with a MediaTek Helio P60 CPU, while the Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. We only got the Pro, so couldn't compare the two, but on paper the two midrange processors should perform similarly. The Pro has 6GB of RAM, though, more than the R15's 4GB, and a different camera setup with more megapixels.

The Pro will sell for AU$779 in Australia, but won't be officially available in the US or UK -- its Chinese pricing converts to $515 or £385. For that, it's an excellent example of a reasonably priced phone that doesn't feel like it makes any meaningful compromises. It overachieves more than other midrange phones, like the awesome Moto X4, and I even prefer it over some much pricier phones, such as the Nokia 8 Sirocco.

Really, its major problem is big brother: The OnePlus 6 is the same price, but has a better operating system, faster processor and longer battery life.

Oppo R15 Pro looks less like an iPhone, despite the notch 

Oppo has a history of borrowing liberally from Apple's iPhone designs. But while the R15 has a notch -- an Apple first that has since become a design trend with Androids, particularly now that Android P standardises it -- it doesn't look as similar to an iPhone as previous Oppo phones. That's an improvement, as the Apple-esque design of the R11 was jarring.

oppo-r15-pro-14
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The gradient, coloured back is fetching indeed.

Ian Knighton/CNET

The R15 Pro has a huge 6.28-inch display, no home button and minimum bezels. It has facial recognition, which I found to be even more responsive than on Huawei's P20 Pro. Its biggest improvements are on the backside, though. We got the starry purple unit, which has a metallic, holographic finish that's slightly iridescent. It actually looks more similar to the aforementioned P20 Pro than to an iPhone. It also comes in snow white, thermal red, dreamy red and ceramic black.

There are cons, though. The R15 phones run ColorOS, Oppo's brand of Android 8.1 Oreo, which is a blatant, unimaginative attempt to clone iOS. They're charged via Micro-USB ports, which would be fine two years ago but we're very much in the USB-C era now. Plus, while the R15 Pro comes with dust and splash resistance, neither model is waterproof. Keep this one away from the pool.

On the plus side, there is a headphone jack.

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